Alison McCants, Blogger on 101 Fundraising

Lessons from Lance

By Alison McCants • February 14, 2013

For the past few months, we’ve been hearing about Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace and the aftermath of it. Barred from competing again, he has tried to win public opinion to support him in his efforts to compete again, theoretically free from any doping. As fundraisers, we’ll probably always remember …

The ‘F’ word

By Alison McCants • October 29, 2012

Taking risks and failure go with the territory.
(Image © francesconegri)
Coming back to the office after IFC, I made an overarching discovery that touches on everything else I learned: I am terrified of failure.
And I don’t think I’m alone. I don’t think I am the only fundraiser who, when faced with …

A perfect pitch?

By Alison McCants • June 28, 2012

If you work with creative agencies, there’s a good chance you will someday be involved in a pitch process.
I’ve been involved client-side in two separate pitches, each of which have taught me where I’ve made mistakes, and where a few good choices can make everything run smoothly for all involved.
Here …

I Wish I’d Thought Of That

By Alison McCants • June 4, 2012

On Thursday afternoon, SOFII (brainchild of fundraising great, Ken Burnett) presented their first ever ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ event. 22 speakers from agencies and charities, large charities and small from across all cause types, spoke about ideas from other fundraisers that they wish they’d had first.
It was a …

Protect one of your greatest fundraising assets

By Alison McCants • February 23, 2012

It’s not a killer creative proposition. Or your favourite go-to copywriter. I’m talking about your database.
Databases are often seen as a necessary means to an end, but time and time again I have seen this major asset overlooked even by experienced fundraising teams. Here are just four tips I’ve used …

What I learned about fundraising from the brazil nut

By Alison McCants • November 28, 2011

The brazil nut has an interesting story, even for non-botanists like me.
For starters, it’s a seed, not a nut, but that’s not really important. It grows on large trees with yellow flowers. Although their nectar is sweet, their coiled hoods make it difficult to get to. That is, unless you’re …

Through the letterbox

By Alison McCants • August 18, 2011

As Reinier discussed in his recent 101fundraising post, the 90-degree shift isn’t exactly breaking news… but is it really happening in fundraising? Or are we perhaps seeing it as just another box to tick, another marketing incantation to bandy about the meeting room (think ‘synergy’ or ‘paradigm shift’ – you …

Tell me a story

By Alison McCants • June 16, 2011

I’ve seen countless blogs and articles about the importance of storytelling. The thing is, we know it’s important. People give to people. Giving is an emotional response to living in a world you want to change. A good story brings your cause to life.
But I see lots of fundraising asks …

Sofa cushion forts and fundraising

By Alison McCants • April 8, 2011

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours building forts: in the living room (generally of sofa cushion construction), outdoors (up a tree or in a bush), my bedroom, even once under the sideboard in the dining room. My setting never really changed – my sphere was limited …

The next big thing in fundraising is closer than you think

By Alison McCants • March 11, 2011

A few weeks ago at the Institute of Fundraising Direct Marketing and Fundraising Conference, the question was asked of the panel: What do you think is the ‘next big thing’ in fundraising? Their answer wasn’t entirely surprising, but was particularly refreshing.
They unanimously said that it’s better to use traditional direct …

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